A few years ago, God led me to step away from anti-trafficking work and focus on issues related to sexuality and the Christian Church. At the time, porn use was the main culprit I saw, and I was well aware of how destructive it could be for men, women, and children. But since then God has shown me that in a broken world no one is exempt from the forces of evil working to destroy or cast doubt on God’s amazing design for sex and sexuality. He’s also shown me that all of us are sexually broken, that all of us need Christ’s healing and grace.
Through my work, I’ve experienced more than a few personal revelations and even some surprises related to my understanding of sexuality. Perhaps the greatest of these has been the truth that each person’s sexuality reflects God’s deep, abiding, intimate, and faithful love for those He created in His image, making it a sacred aspect of being human.
This is in stark contrast to messages I internalized about sexuality growing up. While the world was touting all manner of sexual promiscuity and calling it good, my home environment and the Church seemed silent on the topic or promoted a single message that focused on purity. But I’ve come to realize that God has very good news about sex and sexuality that the world needs to hear.
“Sacred” and “sexuality” are two words I’ve rarely seen together. While the purity message of the past may have fallen short in many ways, an understanding of the sacredness of sexuality can be life-changing.
Dr. Juli Slattery brings truth to bear on the holiness of sexuality through her work at Authentic Intimacy. In her book Rethinking Sexuality: God’s Design and Why It Matters she teaches that our sexuality reflects God’s covenantal love and that we need a paradigm shift in our conversations about it. “If Christians understood that the gospel is written within our sexuality, it would radically change how we think about singleness, sexuality in marriage, and every distortion of God’s design for sexuality.” ¹ She goes on to say,
Why is sexuality important to God? Why does the Bible speak so strongly against sexual immorality and divorce? Because sexuality is a holy metaphor of a God who invites us into covenant with Himself. God created you as a sexual person in order to unlock the mystery of knowing an invisible God… Your sexuality tells the story of God’s intention to draw you into His covenant love, the celebration of intimacy with Him, and the devastation of betraying Him.²
Dr. Slattery is one of many voices helping us understand this good news. Dr. William Struthers, author of Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain, tells us that our sexual drive is good, God-given, and purposeful no matter our age or marital status:
Sexual attraction is relational energy; it pushes us. It is rooted in the relational image of God. The tension we experience when the drive for intimacy kicks in propels us to seek communion with others. Human sexuality allows for the mystery, beauty, diversity, and complexity of human life to be explored and for deepening bonds of intimacy to be formed. We have to move away from thinking that the sole purpose of our sexuality is intercourse.³
Have you ever considered how much influence the world and your past experiences have had on your understanding of sexuality? Are you curious about the specific truths God may have for you, things that would have been helpful to know in your earlier years, things you hope to share with your kids?
I’m finally discovering truths I believe God wanted me to know all along, such as
Why He designed our brains and our bodies the way He did
Why He gave us sexual feelings
Why sexual integrity matters to Him
The beauty of oneness through sexual intimacy in marriage, and
How God equips us to live out our sacred sexuality through the power of Christ in us.
Though I don’t have all the answers or words yet to adequately explain these truths on a child’s level, I hope you’ll continue to journey with me and others that I bring to the conversation through our work at TrueNorth.
We want to help you convey these tender truths to your kids in practical, age-appropriate, compassionate ways. Without your influence, it’s likely your children will naturally do what most of us did – adopt current cultural views on sexuality. Sadly, culture is the predominant sex educator of today’s kids. We want to help change that.
It’s your job to help your kids internalize truth about godly sexuality, unhindered by shame or doubt. Our prayer is that today’s kids will learn to live out their good and sacred sexuality through the power of Christ and for His glory. This is our prayer for you also.
As you begin to dispel the lies you’ve come to believe and as you work to become an ally to your kids, realize they will experience feelings related to sexuality sooner than you think. You will want to help them see that feelings related to their bodies and sexuality are very normal, good, healthy, and God-given. You will also need to help them learn how to manage those feelings in God-honoring ways and walk with them with compassion and grace. Read some of our previous posts for some encouragement and equipping for this!
God invites us to surrender our sexuality to Him for His plans and purposes and for His glory at every stage of life. This will look different if you’re married, single, have unwanted sexual attractions or behaviors, or if you’re wrestling with other issues related to sexuality.
I invite you to see how God might reshape your views of sexuality from a worldly view to a godly view and lead you into a deeper walk with Him in the process. Ask Him to open your eyes, dispel any lies you’ve believed, and discover truth for your soul. God’s covenantal love says “I will be faithful to you. I will never leave or forsake you. You are My beloved child.” Our sexuality leads us toward relationship, and the greatest relationship of all is the one with your heavenly Father who made you, knows you best, and loves you the most.
To help you grow in your understanding of the sacredness of sexuality, we recommend the work of Dr. Juli Slattery. Check out Juli’s post Why God Created You to Be Sexual, her book Rethinking Sexuality, and her podcasts at Authentic Intimacy.
If you haven’t done so already, download our latest free resource for parents: 10 TIPS FOR TALKING WITH YOUR KIDS ABOUT BODIES, PORN, AND SEX (free with email signup on our website). Today’s post is based on one of our 10 tips. We believe God will use these insights to bless you and lead you as you work to become an ally to your kids in today’s sexualized culture.
Let us know how we can encourage or equip you! Share topics you’re curious about. We’d love to hear from you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founder and CEO, TrueNorth Freedom Project, Atlanta, GA.
¹ Slattery, Juli, Rethinking Sexuality: God’s Design and Why It Matters, (Multnomah, New York, 2018), 49.
² Ibid 53
³ Struthers, William. Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain, (InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, 2009), 160.
PS – We’re helping host the Sexual Integrity Leadership Summit May 2-4, 2019, at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA. Plenary speakers include Dr. Juli Slattery, Dr. Crawford Loritts, Jay Stringer, and Pastor Jason Dees. The summit will offer 23 breakout sessions over 4 tracks. You can find more information here.
Want to help us bring the good news of sexuality to a hurting and broken world? Find ways to give here. TrueNorth is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Donations are tax deductible. Our EIN is 46-5767272.
Photo by Mateusz Dach.